Video: Lakers’ Ivica Zubac locks up Warriors’ DeMarcus Cousins with superb defense
Golden State Warriors All-Star DeMarcus Cousins is playing in only his second game this season against the Los Angeles Lakers. That said, Los Angeles’ third-year center in Ivica Zubac had a rude greeting for him in the second quarter of their matchup, swatting Cousins’ shot and then locking him down to force a shot clock violation.
Ivica Zubac has wowed Laker fans with his defensive ability. The seven-footer has proved nimble enough to hang with perimeter players, while also proving to be a solid shot blocker.
Zubac, as of this writing, is averaging 7.6 points a game to go along with 4.5 rebounds. He got his chance to stick around in the Lakers’ rotation when both JaVale McGee and Tyson Chandler were injured at the same time. Zubac embraced the starter role with enthusiasm and performed so well that he has stuck around even now that the two big men ahead of him on the depth chart have returned.
The Croatia native is only 21 years old, and the Lakers hope that he could improve his game even more. While his back to the basket game is respectable, Ivica Zubac still does not have the range that so many centers show in today’s league. He is limited to shots in and around the paint, mostly coring off lobs and drop-offs.
It’s uncertain if the team will bring back McGee after this year, as he is only on a one-year contract. If Zubac continues to play the way he has, he could be the Lakers’ starting big man of the future.